When travelling for a working holiday, backpackers often look for jobs that combine work with accommodation. Jobs that offer a place to stay simplify your backpacking experience and eliminate the struggle of finding a hotel or hostel nearby.
Working holiday jobs aren’t limited to bar work. There are options available for everyone, regardless of your skills and background. You could greet guests at a hotel, provide childcare services, lead tours at a holiday park, or pick produce on a farm. Read on to learn more about working holiday jobs that offer accommodation.
1. Work exchange
A work exchange involves providing a few hours of work in exchange for accommodation and food. Typically, you would be working in a private home. Work exchanges are perfect for travellers who like flexibility. You’ll only work for the amount of time you’ve agreed to, and will be compensated accordingly.
Private homes, restaurants, hostels and campsites often offer work exchange programs. Depending on the host, you may receive other benefits for your work, including discounts on trips and events, language lessons and catered meals.
2. Hotel & hostel work
Hotel and hostel work allows you to meet new people from around the world, grow your skills and enjoy free accommodation at the same time. Hostels and hotels offer a variety of jobs, including reception duties, cleaning, bartending and serving, and event planning.
Typically, you’ll be employed to complete a certain number of duties each day, for a certain amount of time per week, in return for a private or dormitory room free of charge.
3. Pub all-rounder
Pub or bar work is one of the most common choices for backpackers because of its flexibility. Often, this type of employment allows you to enjoy travelling and seeing sights during the day, and return to work at night. In most countries, pub work is widely available and does not require any prior experience. You’ll be taught how to make drinks on the job, will stay fit from being on your feet, and will meet plenty of new people.
4. Au Pair
An au pair is typically a person who performs light housework and childcare duties for a family in exchange for accommodation, food and a small allowance. Au pairs are not required to have formal training in childcare, and should only care for children and toddlers 12 months or older.
Au pairs are usually responsible for waking up children, helping them get ready for school or daycare, preparing their meals, and helping them with their homework. During the day, au pairs may do light housework such as vacuuming or laundry.
Live-in-care work is another option that provides free accommodation in a private home. Too, it’s an opportunity to make someone else’s life easier and enrich your travel experience.
Live-in carers are typically responsible for helping with personal care for the client, cleaning, and preparing meals. Other responsibilities may include shopping for the client and transporting them in their own car. Most importantly, you will be a friend to the client, will offer them a listening ear, and help them keep their independence.
Farmhand positions are a great option for backpackers who love the outdoors. The work is hard but rewarding. Most farm work involves picking, packing and processing fresh produce, including fruit, vegetables and herbs. Many farms offer hostel accommodation in return for your work.
Farm work keeps you fit, exposes you to a unique and exciting industry, and allows you to learn new skills while building friendships with other workers.
7. Holiday park staff
Many holiday parks, including camping parks, caravan parks and national parks, offer on-site accommodation in exchange for work. Free electricity and water are often included. Holiday park workers may be responsible for managing reception, processing cash, managing guest accounts, organising park tours, maintenance and repair of the grounds, and stock control.
8. Yacht or cruise ship staff
Being a member of staff working on a yacht is a dream come true for many travellers. It’s a unique position, perfect for adventure-seekers who love to meet new people. Cruise ships need a huge variety of workers, including entertainers, translators, childcare staff, cooks, cleaners and bar staff. Of course, you’ll be compensated with free onboard accommodation, and access to reading rooms, gyms, pools and staff sunbathing decks free of charge.